• 08:16:40 pm on December 14, 2009 | 0
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    Provide a Service Experience, Not just Customer Service

    We all know that the voice of the customer has disrupted the tight control that companies have on their brand. Bad experiences are easily amplified and heard round the customer community. Think of stories like Dell Hell and Yours is a very bad hotel . The fallout is that 55% of customer don’t want to talk to customer service reps anymore (Forrester, 2008) and 90% of shoppers trust community input more than your company’s input (Neilsen 2009).

    So, what does that mean for customer service? You now need to engage your customers in a collaborative environment, which melds community and company recommendations, and is as transparent as possible to your customer base who demand honesty as they ultimately control the conversation with you.

    It also means that customer service has become increasingly important compared to the sales and marketing pillars of traditional CRM. Customer service has morphed into providing a service experience. Your job now is to do better than to solve customer problems, as they can do this with community input – it is to provide them with an end-to-end experience that keeps them coming back for more. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos defines the customer experience as: “ it includes having the lowest price, having the fastest delivery, having it reliable enough so you don’t have to contact anyone. Then you save customer service for those truly unusual situations.”

    This means that you need to provide your support agents a new set of tools focused on providing a customer experience. Here’s a short-list some of what is needed in this new world

    • Your customer-facing web self-service site must include community content as well as corporate content, and your user base must be able to express their voice on your site.
    • Your search results are social – You let the community dictate important content on your web-self service site.
    • If a user chooses to interact with a customer service agent, your agents must have all the data and knowledge that they need to solve their issue pushed to them at the right point in the resolution cycle.
    • You must extend business process management to customer service so that agents solve issues in a consistent, reproducible way that doesn’t vary from agent to agent.
    • Your agents need to be cognizant of your customer’s emotion and satisfaction with the service process, and react appropriately so that the service experience keeps them loyal.
    • You need to monitor, measure how you do, and use data, including customer feedback to tune your service experience to be aligned with customer demands.

    In what other ways can you evolve customer service  offering into providing an experience?

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